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: Side Kick (Te Tad)

The Side Kick, or 'Te Tad' as known in Muay Thai, is an effective striking technique showcasing the discipline's focus on power and agility. This kick is known for its side-ways delivery and is often employed at a medium to long range to target an opponent's torso or head. The technique requires picture-perfect balance, excellent body control and precise timing.

Positioning and Balance

Begin in a standard Muay Thai stance. Your guard should be up, with your body slightly side-on to minimize your size as a target. Your weight should be evenly distributed across both legs to maintain balance.

Executing the Kick

Raise your kicking leg, bending at the knee. The foot of your standing leg should pivot, turning almost 180 degrees. Push your hip and the heel of your kicking foot forward towards the target, keeping the foot flexed. Retract quickly after the strike to recover your stance.

How To Defend

Defending against a side kick can be done by using a shield block, lifting the knee of your front leg, and turning your shin outward to absorb the impact.

How To Counter

Side kicks can be counteracted by swiftly stepping aside to avoid the strike, simultaneously closing in to the opponent for a potential counter-attack before they fully recover from their kick.

When To Use

In competition, a side kick is effective at keeping opponents at a distance, or disrupting their rhythm. The power it delivers can significantly wear down an opponent's defenses. Ideally, it is used when an opponent is aggressively advancing or in instances when a powerful strike at a distance is necessary.

Though the side kick is a powerful technique, misuse can leave fighters exposed. It is crucial to reestablish one's guard swiftly after executing the kick.

Mastering the side kick takes time and practice, but it is a valuable addition to any Muay Thai fighter's arsenal. It requires a blend of balance, power, agility, and precision. Its effective use can deter opponents' advances and break down their defenses.

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